Authorities investigating calls prompting temporary closure of M - News, Weather & Sports

Authorities investigating calls prompting closure of Milton-Madison bridge

MADISON, IN (WAVE) - Calls of concern prompted the shutdown of the Milton-Madison bridge two weeks ago. Traffic is flowing as the Jefferson County, Indiana Sheriff's Office investigates where those calls came from.

The sheriff's office received a call from a woman saying she heard a rumor that either part of the bridge collapsed or something collapsed off the bridge. Two similar calls about a possible bridge collapse came in at 9:16 p.m. and 9:33 p.m.

"We want to let people know that if these types of calls are received, obviously we are going to take them very seriously," Jefferson County Sheriff, John Wallace, said Thursday. "First and foremost, we're going to make sure the bridge is safe."

Late Friday night on May 11, authorities closed the bridge. "I respect and appreciate Kentucky's authorities on the way they handled this," said Sheriff Wallace. "I'd rather play it safe then be sorry later."

A bridge inspector sent by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet didn't find anything out of the ordinary that Friday night. The next day, a team of engineers did a survey and found no evidence of concern. The bridge reopened on Saturday, May 12. Now, the sheriff's office in Madison is investigating the calls that came in.

"To see if there was any kind of collaborated situation there to try to get this bridge shut down," Wallace said.

So far they've found no evidence of that. Sheriff Wallace said no actual witnesses called in.

WAVE 3 asked Sheriff Wallace if that fact struck him as odd. He responded "It does. It does strike me as a little odd. That's why we're looking into it."

Wallace said the department is working to track down where the calls originated. "We want to let the public know that we do take this very seriously."

Walter Weber, of Madison, IN, lives close to the Ohio River and the Milton-Madison bridge. He and his wife use the bridge a few times per week. "I think it's a very good idea. If it's just ignored, I don't think it should be ignored. Maybe it'll keep from happening again or something, if it was a prank call," Weber said.

The investigation continues. Sheriff Wallace said if all or some of those calls turn out to be prank calls, they will be handed over to the Jefferson County, Indiana Prosecutor's Office for investigation. Wallace said Kentucky State Police, Indiana State Police and the Department of Homeland Security have all been made aware of the calls.

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